It's been two years since they left the United States and Will begins to notice the change in all of them when they move into the house in Amsterdam. Their home is on the outskirts of the city, a kind of suburb. The house itself is no more than a cottage, and a few years ago Hannibal would have scoffed at living in it: it's so quiet and muted with its rounded corners. There is nothing ostentatious about the buttermilk colored interiors, wooden doorframes and floors, the way the cottage cups around them like a large, comforting hand, shutting out the remainder of the world. Hannibal bristles about it until notice the trim little herb garden in the back, overlooking one of the small canals -- which remind Will of rivers, of fishing -- and Abigail says:
"Hannibal, you could grow your own herbs out there."
Something feral in Hannibal seems assuaged then. He calms and they buy the house after completing their walkthrough.
It's been like that since they moved in, and Will wonders why. Perhaps they have settled into one another, the grotesque notion of family they constitute. Perhaps it's because Abigail is grown, and for the most part she declines to sleep with Will or Hannibal, and Hannibal doesn't seem to care any longer. She goes into the city for groceries and haggles with the finesse of an old pro; Hannibal no longer assigns her time frames of when she should be back. There has been talk about Abigail leaving to go to university, perhaps in the UK, but there's no rush. She occasionally disappears into the city at night, and comes home before the sun has risen, rumpled and smelling of sex. Hannibal only reminds her to be safe. There is no malice there, no threat.
Perhaps too, Will's own period of mourning has ended and now he feels alive again. The two years after leaving home feel lost to him, shrouded in a kind of sadness, a yearning for all the things he gave up when he went with Hannibal and Abigail. But now that's over for Will and he feels more like himself again, more comfortable, and in control. This is his life now; it's not what he planned or expected, it's not what he wanted, and he still feels queasy about some things he's done. But it is what it is.
And finally, Hannibal has not killed for two years now -- a few months longer, Will estimates -- and never indicates he will again. The first time Will realized this he was stricken, and almost asked Hannibal about it directly, but decided not to jinx it. Over time it's become apparent that Hannibal has given it up.
"I like my life with you both too much," he told Will, on the train to Amsterdam and their new home. That's all that's been said on the matter.
It doesn't mean Hannibal isn't dangerous. Will is always aware of that. But it also means he can have a little more fun with Hannibal.
Relieved of his mourning, and relieved of worrying about Hannibal, Will's yearning for women revives itself, and he finds himself having frequent one night stands, gorging himself on the smell and taste and feel of women which he has so badly craved and missed these past few years. He's been with Abigail a few times, but it was so awkward with just the two of them. Will's guilt over being a father figure made it too repulsive for him. So the one night stands sate him and renew him, connecting him with a sense of himself he was afraid had been lost. He knows he shouldn't be stupidly grateful to Hannibal for allowing him these liaisons, but he is. All Hannibal has ever said on the matter was that since the relationship was an open one, they would have to be regularly tested and use protection. He wasn't even sad when he said it, only thoughtful, smirking so mischievously that Will wanted to mount him then and there.
That is the other thing about Will's trysts with women: they reignite his passion for Hannibal. It is as if by feeding a part of himself that had been starving, he has more energy for his relationship with Hannibal. His feelings for the man continue to be complex, bewildering, but also wonderful. Will is never bored with Hannibal, and thinks Hannibal is never really bored with him either. And there is something to be said for that. There is something to be said for mornings where he wakes up, hard and wet, Hannibal's fingers already inside him. There is something to be said for going to bed and spooning one another like they are any normal couple in the world, cradling their secrets between each other and falling asleep in the warm and vast contentment of their shared contradictions.
If his present self could go back in time and tell his past self it would be like this, his past self would have laughed and said he was crazy. Duped. Suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or capture bonding. So mindfucked and manipulated he just thought he was happy. Present Will would smile sadly and think his past self was seriously lacking in imagination. And seriously out of touch with who he was, and who he could become.
It is with all this roiling through his mind that Will bikes home from his latest liaison -- a physical therapist with acne scars who had made sweet, breathy noises as Will sucked her clit and fingered her -- and the summer air wet with cloying moisture, the hum of bees, the breeze tangling through his thick curls as he pulls up to the cottage. In the garden, Hannibal bends over his mint plants, forearms the same color as light brown sugar. He looks up, dark eyes growing darker, because certainly he smells the sex wafting off Will as he passes, walking up the little stone path into the cottage kitchen, and then into the bathroom.
As Will washes himself off with the shower extension, he touches his half hard cock, and still wet front hole. He enjoys the sensations, the memory of the physical therapist's limber and strong hands. Hannnibal's dark, dark eyes on him. He's flush, full of life and vigor, as if the sun had poured itself into his body and he nows radiates with it. Hannibal would think it wasteful not to use this energy, and Will would have to agree. As he gets out of the bath and dries himself off, Will hears Hannibal moving around in the kitchen and decides he is definitely due for a surprise. Abigail is out for a few days, on a trip with some friends to Belgium.
Will pads into their bedroom, and pulls out the dark purple double dildo from the top dresser drawer. They haven't used it much yet, but Hannibal seems to enjoy it, and Will certainly enjoys it though it can be tricky to use. He doesn't much like the color, but since Hannibal was the only one he used it with, it hardly mattered. Will dresses slowly, enjoying the sensuous whisper of clothing over his skin, even if it's mostly plain cotton. He pulls some fresh boxer briefs on, and, rubbing his hole to make sure he's still wet enough, pushes the smaller end of the dildo inside himself. Once it's seated snugly enough, he pulls on his jeans, careful not to dislodge the dildo -- now his cock really -- the larger end bulging, Will's erection visible beneath the denim.
He moves slowly, cautions about not dislodging his cock, padding into the kitchen where Hannibal stands at the counter. The muscles in his shoulders ripple beneath his shirt as he makes some kind of fattoush, and the air is crisp with the scent of lemon juice, garlic, and mint.
"Will," Hannibal says, the knife flashing in his hand as the tomato splits in two on his cutting board.
"Mmmm," Will purrs, putting his arms around Hannibal's waist. Hannibal draws breath to object, and Will presses his erection against Hannibal's ass.
"Will," Hannibal says again, voice husky. "I take it your visit to the city was good then?"
"Mmm-hmm," Will rubs his cock against Hannibal, pressing his face to the back of Hannibal's neck, and enjoying the combination of smells: sweat and soil and mint, and the silky tang of his aftershave.
Using his hands, Will turns Hannibal so they're facing, and relieves him of the chef's knife. He toys with it, running the tip down the front of Hannibal's shirt, before moving the blade up, pressing the sharp side lightly to Hannibal's throat. Hannibal strains, as if he wants to lean into the blade, but knows more than anyone just how sharp it is.
"Suck my cock," Will says.
Hannibal lowers himself, and the blade follows. He rubs his face against the bulge in Will's jeans. Unzipping, he dips his large hand in, cupping and squeezing Will's erection until Will moans, because Hannibal's touch makes the small end move inside him. By now Will has put the knife away on the countertop, and as Hannibal pulls Will's heavy cock out it bobs against his lips. Hannibal mouths the warm, firm head, runs his tongue along the underside of Will's cock. Will's front hole tightens with arousal as he watches; tightens all the more as Hannibal slides the cock into his mouth. He lets Hannibal lick and suck him for a minute before grabbing Hannibal's hair.
"Keep your mouth open," he says, by way of warning, and begins fucking Hannibal's beautiful lips, shoving his cock deep a few times and then pulling back so Hannibal can breathe. Hannibal has told Will that he doesn't mind face fucking, as long as Will is not rude enough to ignore the fact that he needs to breathe. So he's passive now, allowing Will to fuck him this way, which is both crude and intimate. Finally Hannibal pulls back, wiping spit from his chin, and taking Will's cock firmly in his hand. He begins to pump, the end inside pressing a firm, hot knot of nerves which makes Will shudder.
"I want to fuck you," Will says and Hannibal smiles, running Will's cock along his cheek before sucking the tip just lightly.
Will hauls Hannibal up by his hair. He makes a face as if to say: that was almost rude, Will, but Will shoves him in the direction of their bedroom. Once there, Will settles on the edge of the bed.
"Strip," he tells Hannibal.
Hannibal's brows arch, but after awhile he does what he's told, clothing parting like shadows as it comes away from his body. Will watches and strokes himself, the end inside him sending ripples of pleasure through him, ripples which mirror the desire he feels when he hears Hannibal's belt buckle jangle, when he looks at Hannibal's broad chest and shoulders, his taut, flat stomach, the way the muscles bunch in his ass and his calves as he bends down to remove his socks and shoes.
"You're so fucking beautiful," Will blurts and Hannibal preens.
"Bring me the belt," Will says. Hannibal retrieves the belt from where he coiled it over his folded clothes, on a chair, and brings it to Will. Taking the belt, Will notices that Hannibal's cock is already half hard, rosy head glowing in the cloudy afternoon light. Will can't help himself and leans forward, putting his lips to that head and sucking, enjoying how Hannibal inhales sharply. He sucks just long enough and hard enough to feel Hannibal's cock begin to swell and harden in his mouth.
"Lay down on the bed." Will says shakily. "Face down."
Hannibal does so and waits, while Will puts the belt to one side and finds a dental dam, gloves, and lubricant.
He begins by spreading the dam over Hannibal's asshole, and dipping his tongue inside. True, he tastes the dam and not Hannibal, but he feels the warmth of Hannibal still, and the way Hannibal tenses. Will laughs, and, squeezing both of Hannibal's asscheeks hard, he tonguefucks him for a few minutes, enjoying how Hannibal twitches beneath him.
"Will," Hannibal grunts, rubbing his erection into the bed.
"Stop that," Will says, slapping Hannibal's right asscheek, hard enough to leave a handprint. "Don't move. Don't make a sound. If you do I'll spank you."
Hannibal groans and Will slaps him again, on the other cheek. Hannibal goes still and quiet as Will removes the dam and rolls on a glove, coating his fore and middle finger in lube.
"I am going to finger fuck you." Will slides over Hannibal, pressing his cock against his naked body. He kisses and bites Hannibal's shoulders, and down his spine. Hannibal remains mute and still.
"Spread your legs."
Hannibal does. Will enjoys pressing his lubed finger to Hannibal's entrance and watching Hannibal's body tense, then relax. Enjoys the heat of Hannibal enveloping his finger. He moves slowly, lightly, rubbing his finger inside Hannibal as he kisses and licks Hannibal's lower back. Hannibal stiffens with the effort of remaining still and silent, especially when Will adds another finger.
"Oh," Hannibal says after awhile.
"Do you like this?" Will scissors his fingers.
Hannibal bucks beneath him, and moans. Will laughs and spanks him some more, until Hannibal lies flat on the bed, braced, trembling.
Will has the tips of three fingers in Hannibal, gently rimming his hole, when Hannibal says: "Will, just fuck me."
With his free hand, Will picks up the belts, allowing the buckle to clink so Hannibal can hear it.
"What did you just say to me?" Will asks, running the belt across Hannibal's ass.
"Fuck me Will," Hannibal says after a moment.
Will snaps the soft end of the belt over Hannibal's ass.
"What did you say to me?" He raises his voice, pushing his fingers deeper. He wonders -- not for the first time, not for the last -- about a safeword. More precisely, the fact they don't have one. He knows it's stupid, but in their conversations Hannibal never agreed to having one. It's part of the game they play with one another, both in and out of bed: studying each other, gauging each other's reactions, pushing each other's limits.
"Please . . ." Hannibal murmurs. "Please fuck me Will."
Will snaps the belt over Hannibal's ass several times, then stops and pulls his fingers out, removes the gloves, and massages Hannibal's ass slowly, listening to the other man's breathing. If they needed a safeword, Hannibal said, they would have failed to properly understand one another. It's nonsense, and dangerous, but a very small part of Will agrees. A larger part of him likes courting the danger.
"On your hands and knees," Will says, coiling the belt in his hands. Hannibal complies rather elegantly, and Will has to marvel at that. He spanks Hannibal with the belt a few more times, enjoying how red his ass has become -- glowing like pink rose petals -- before standing and leaning down. With the belt, Will makes a loose loop by pulling the soft end through the buckle, and places the loop over Hannibal's head, then over his throat. Hannibal is absolutely still as the leather presses into this skin.
Will coats his cock in lube. Taking the end of the belt in one hand, his cock in another, he pushes into Hannibal. It's a delicious sight -- the head of his cock is rather large -- and Hannibal grunts when the head finally breaches him. Will tightens the belt just a little.
"Don't make a sound," Will says pleasantly, and begins moving.
Though Hannibal stays in position, his body quakes as Will's cock disappears inside him, as the small end pushes back inside Will with every thrust.
"Oh god, Hannibal, you are so fucking hot."
Hannibal makes a noise and Will tightens the belt. "You are so hot I could fuck you like this all day. I love having my cock inside you. Do you like having my cock inside you?"
"Yes," Hannibal pants.
"Tell me about my cock inside you," Will drapes himself over Hannibal, fucking in small, tight jabs.
"It's so good," Hannibal manages.
"More," Will pulls on the belt.
"It feels so good. It feels wonderful. Like -- music."
"Better than your food?"
Hannibal's lips tighten; so does the belt.
"Ah," Hannibal rasps. "It feels so good. Will, you're beautiful. Will I -- I never know what you'll do. I love that."
Will removes the belt and Hannibal gasps for air -- he must be seeing stars -- as Will rolls back, repositions himself, and grabs Hannibal's hips. He pulls his cock almost all the way out, hovering at Hannibal's entrance, enjoying how Hannibal writhes.
"Make as much noise as you can," Will says, before he begins fucking Hannibal hard.
At first Hannibal does not make much noise; a few grunts and some gasps. But after a few moments his grunts and gasps elongate, a low, rumbling vibrato that rattles in Will's chest, all the way down to his cock, the small end driving into him as he thrusts into Hannibal. And then "Will, Will," over and over, like everything Hannibal is aches for and craves Will: his body, his mind, the cock which fills him now with pleasure that cannot even be put into words. Will grabs a fistful of Hannibal's hair, snapping his hips faster. Hannibal arches back against him, sweating, half babbling. Will's orgasm bunches inside him, that tight, hot knot of nerves, and he comes cradling Hannibal against him, making incoherent noises into his neck. Hannibal finishes a few moments later, and leans back into Will, warm, sticky, very heavy.
They sit like this for awhile, catching their breaths. Will shivers, jeans and t-shirt stuck to his skin, Hannibal slippery in his hands. He nuzzles Hannibal in the crook of his neck, enjoying the mingled smell of them, the way Hannibal's heartbeat is still a little fast.
He almost says: I think I love you. But even after all this time Will isn't sure how he would define his relationship with Hannibal; if it would be love, or something else. So instead he kisses the freckles on Hannibal's shoulders.
Eventually they disentangle, and Hannibal looks well pleased, a cat who's got the cream.
"I never could entirely predict you," he smiles, before they both go to the bathroom and shower off. After, as Hannibal lies on the bed and Will rubs aloe into his ass, Will thinks: maybe this is what contentment is for me. A delicate see-saw of balance, of power, the fulcrum point someplace between me and Hannibal. Sometimes I am in charge. Sometimes he is. But in the end it is entirely equal.
Hannibal pulls on his boxers, grimacing only slightly, then holds Will's face in his hands and kisses him. The kissing quickly becomes groping, hands reaching around, fingers in Will's already wet front hole, followed by Hannibal's cock. Hannibal fucks Will into the edge of the bed, Will's his legs wrapped around him, ankles pressed to the small of his back, stroking his hair as Hannibal keens into his neck. Hannibal finishes a second times inside Will, and Will realizes with pleasure and then alarm that Hannibal didn't use a condom. And he recalls how this began -- in another life as Hannibal would say -- and how he had lured Hannibal Lecter into fucking him and coming inside him without a condom, just to see how infatuated Hannibal was.
It had worked.
Will looks at Hannibal and Hannibal smiles a wry smile, as if he is privy to Will's thoughts, and remembering that same, frantic fuck in the back of his car. He kisses Will gently.
Will laughs, and he still feels Hannibal's cock inside him. Though he is softening, there is something lovely and intimate about it. Hannibal leans down into Will until they both lie on the bed, bodies entwined.